Title

HOW CHAOS DOES NOT DESTROY RIDERSHIP: OPERATIONS OF AN EXCLUSIVE BUSWAY CARRYING MORE THAN 35,000 PASSENGERS PER HOUR PER DIRECTION

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2000

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - busway, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, organisation - competition, mode - bus

Keywords

Traveled way, Traffic platooning, Traffic lanes, Roadway, Platooning, Passenger volume, Headways, Design, Convoy driving, Competition, Carriageways, Busways, Bus terminals, Bus stations, Bogota (Colombia)

Abstract

Busways have been reported to carry up to 28,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd). However, recent passenger counts indicate that the exclusive busway in Bogota, Colombia, has a flow of more than 35,000 pphpd. This passenger flow is achieved despite poor operating conditions and a general lack of maintenance without a city busway management and operation authority. Consequently, there is little police control, no systems management, and scarce information for users. These conditions should affect passenger flow negatively, but the Bogota busway carries more passengers than all busways for which data are available. The analysis suggests that the Bogota busway is able to move high passenger flows due to three concurrent and interactive sets of factors. First, the high competition among bus operators provides drivers with an incentive to operate more efficiently. Second, the design provides two lanes, allowing for vehicle overtake, as well as stations that enable six or more buses simultaneously to pick up and discharge passengers. Third, the buses move in platoons along the busway. Each platoon consists of 12 to 16 buses with average 96-s headways. Furthermore, time-distance diagrams indicate that the platoons are not stable, because vehicles keep changing from one platoon to another. The analysis underscores the importance for transit planners of tradeoffs among passenger flows, level of service, and optimal system operation.